We – The Unicorns … Go On A Road Trip
Story and Photographs by Meg McKinney
As if they stepped off a color wheel, the unicorns became brilliant creatures in the sunshine. I couldn’t resist taking their pictures. It was a Kodak moment.
“Road trip!” Mystic, the unicorns’ leader, announced earlier that day. All agreed, and plans were made. The four unicorns, currently visiting our realm, were curious about stable and pasture life for their equine counterparts.
On a recent sunny, spring afternoon, we visited Stepping Stone Farm Riding Academy, Chelsea, Alabama. I felt confident the unicorns would be welcome, and free to kick up their hooves. I provided transportation. The unicorns admitted that, left to themselves, they would get stuck in traffic on Hwy. 280. And, I knew that if any driver that saw them traveling along this busy highway, they would slam on the brakes, and that would cause more traffic problems.
The American Saddlebred horses at Stepping Stone Farm are a pretty cool bunch. Upon arrival, the unicorns certainly caught their attention. But, once their curiosity about the glittery visitors was satisfied, they returned to grass grazing. Horses have priorities.
In this time of the pandemic, the unicorns kept a social distance, following fence lines of the pastures and the arena.
Mystic practiced a piaffe atop a fence post, when Buddy, a chestnut with a blaze, peered from a barn window. Buddy returned to his afternoon oats, when he observed that Mystic was prancing in place, and wouldn’t get near his feed bucket.
Melody, the herd coordinator for all things practical, looked over the grooming stall. Perhaps she envisioned hoof trims, and replacing bits of glitter.
Starlight, head of the unicorns’ security detail, scanned the property for unwanted visitors. All was quiet. Biggums, in a nearby pasture, looked up at Starlight, and then continued his all-important grazing.
Twinkle, had a grand time, galloping along the rim of the arena, looking for new faces. Her mane and tail sparkled. A bay mare, named “Slim,” was occupied with new green grass, and paid no attention to Twinkle – that anyone could tell.
The stables’ feathered residents had their own agendas. The peacocks fluffed and fluttered their springtime finery. After side-ways glances at the unicorns, they strutted on. The guinea fowl chirped, patrolled for insects, and paid no heed to the unicorns. The barn cats were nowhere to be seen, but I’m sure they saw everything.
When it was time to go, Starlight herded the group back to my car. Everyone took one last look around to remember their day out. On the drive back to Birmingham, the unicorns discussed their visit.
“Did you see how green the pastures are?” Melody was excited by the ready supply of grass for her fellow unicorns.
Twinkle was enthralled by the numerous containers of product for manes and tails, kept in the wash stall. Perfect for any filly, grooming for an evening out.
“The arena would be good for my classical dressage practice,” declared Mystic, who prefers center stage by performing airs above the ground.
Starlight, peering out a car window, informed the herd “we should consider relocating to Stepping Stone Farm, if we need an escape from danger.”
This concluded the unicorns’ road trip and discoveries. Let’s hope they allow us to tag along on their next adventure, whenever and wherever that may be.
Photographing toy unicorn models is a welcome challenge presented by “Virtual Brush Box,” during the pandemic of 2020. The opportunity to create a fictional story — a complete diversion from photojournalism and corporate photography –- is new territory, and pushes my skill sets. This is good for every photographer.